In Memoriam-September 11, 2001: Steve McCurry The Ground Zero Photographs

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In Memoriam - September 11, 2001 Steve McCurry: The Ground Zero Photographs

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"I live by Washington Square Park, and my office has a view of Lower Manhattan. I was there, going through mail with my assistant, when we got a phone call saying that the World Trade Center was on fire. I looked out my window and saw both towers were on fire.“ Steve McCurry

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I had just returned from Tibet the night before. I had not unpacked my luggage or camera bag. Shortly after nine o’clock when I heard of the attack, I went up on the roof of my apartment building and watched both towers billowing smoke. Steve McCurry

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I photographed the second tower collapsing at 10:28 AM. After shooting from the top of my building, I walked down to Ground Zero at noon, and stayed until late that night when all my film was gone, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave. Steve McCurry

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Later, as I walked back home, I was struck at how life slowly seemed to come back to near normal the further you walked away from Ground Zero. It was strange listening to conversations of people who seemed to be unaware of the magnitude of this incredible event. I wanted to go up and shake people and say, “Don’t you realize that this is probably the most important day in your life?’” Steve McCurry

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"It seemed like so much was gone. We didn’t know the extent of the attack, like maybe they hit Wall Street too, knowing the whole financial world was down in Lower Manhattan. Maybe that was all gone too. You jump to your fears. The one thing that was clear was that this was something that was not only going to change my life but the entire world."Steve McCurry

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"It was surreal. There was this very fine white powder everywhere and all this office paper, but there was no recognizable office equipment—no filing cabinets, telephones, computers. It seemed like the whole thing had been pulverized. It was just dust, steel and paper."Steve McCurry

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"In a situation like that, as a documentary photographer, you had to keep a cool head. Do your job. Document this tragedy in the best way you possibly can. You tell yourself to not over think things. You have to go on autopilot to some extent, just go on your instincts and intuition and not allow your nerves or your emotions to overwhelm you. " Steve McCurry

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"We were all completely torn up inside, but you have to get control of yourself and organize yourself so that you can function. Dial your emotions back so that you can put one foot in front of the other." Steve McCurry

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"I found a way to sneak in by cutting through a fence, and it allowed me to spend the morning of September 12 there. I eventually got removed by the police. They were really angry—the police, the firemen, everyone down there; emotions were running very high. One fireman threatened to beat my brains in with a shovel. I understood their position completely. From their point of view, we were there as tourists or spectators, when really we were there to record history, to create a record of this evil deed." Steve McCurry

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"It didn’t seem possible. Like you’re seeing something but you don’t really believe what you’re seeing. Even though I had seen them implode and there was all this smoke, it was not in the realm of possibility for the towers to be gone. It felt like we were living inside a dream, or rather a nightmare." Steve McCurry

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cast In Memoriam - September 11, 2001 , Steve McCurry: The Ground Zero Photographs images and text credit   www.     americanphotomag.com stevemccurry.com magnumphotos.com       Music Immediate Music        created o.e. thanks for watching